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Summit seeking to crack housing crisis
8:55am Friday 2nd November 2012 in News
THE question of how to build enough homes that people can afford will be top of the agenda at a summit in York next week that will form the climax of the city’s first Housing Week.
Councillors and council officers will sit down with landlords, developers, residents and tenants to share ideas on how to meet York’s housing challenge.
Assessments of York’s housing need have suggested the city needs to be building 800 new homes a year – more than 750 of them affordable.
Housing bosses accept they are unlikely to achieve those targets.
But Housing Week will be an attempt to look for solutions.
The week will feature events and workshops looking at every aspect of the housing situation – from how to get more new homes built, to private rental property and homelessness.
Housing Week events will include:
• a summit on private rented property on Monday
• a Get York Building workshop led by the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust on Tuesday
• a meeting on Wednesday to look at housing problems caused by changes to welfare benefits
• “open house” sessions on Wednesday and Friday at four hostels for homeless people in York
• a “housing summit” open to all on Thursday, at which landlords, developers, academics and others will get together to discuss the city’s housing challenges.
Developers taking part in housing week will include Persimmon, Barratt and Linden, said Tracey Simpson-Laing, the city council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for housing.
She said: “The housing summit is a real opportunity for key decision makers to come together to look at the central role that decent and affordable housing plays in achieving the city’s key priorities: growing the economy, getting York Building and securing the city’s social wellbeing.”
Architect Matthew Laverack will be among those taking part in Housing Week.
A long-term critic of the council’s affordable housing targets – which say 35 per cent of new homes built on larger greenfield sites and a quarter built on larger brownfield sites should be affordable – he admitted he was sceptical, however.
“I will be going hoping for the best but expecting the worst,” he said.
• Thursday’s Housing Summit at Clements Hall, from 9am to 12.30pm on Thursday, is open to professionals and to members of the public.
Places are limited, so must be booked in advance. Phone 01904 554379.
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